COVID-19 Updates

April 2nd:

Wisconsin now has more than sixteen hundred confirmed cases of Carona Virus. That’s a fifty percent jump since Saturday. Thirty-two of the cases in the Badger State were fatal.  Ashland County still has only one case of Corona..but County Administrator Clark Schroeder says the economic impact in Ashland is already huge. Despite the spread of the Corona Virus,Wisconsin will apparently still hold its Presidential Primary Tuesday. It won’t be much of a Democratic Primary since Joe Biden seems like a lock to beat Bernie Sanders in what was once viewed as a tight race. Tuesday will also feature a State Supreme Court race between incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly and challenger Jill Karofsky,a Dane County Circuit Judge. Whomever wins gets a ten year term

April 1st:

The ongoing Carona Virus threat is about more than mere numbers.  But the numbers matter. Wisconsin now has more than thirteen hundred confirmed cases and at least twenty five have proved fatal. Bayfield County has confirmed its third case. I spoke to Sara Wortman..who heads the county’s department of health and human services. Wortman says the patient did not travel outside the area and did not make contact with anyone who had the virus. The latest patient..in their seventies..is hospitalized. Northern Wisconsin has managed to avoid the worst of the Corona Virus..but the numbers are increasing. A new report predicts the virus won’t peak in the Badger State until April 26th. Governor Tony Evers has requested a federal disaster declaration to get more financial assistance.  Problem is..many states are asking for it.

March 31st:

Numbers don’t always tell the story,but sometimes they do,. Corona Virus cases in Wisconsin have risen to about thirteen hundred with more than twenty being fatal. Ashland County has its first confirmed case of the virus. That patient had recently traveled in the U-S and developed symptoms shortly afterward. The person is quarantined and recovering at home.  Mary Mc Phetridge of the Ashland Chamber says the ongoing threat of the virus and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ order to partially shut down the state is dealing a huge blow to the area. But she adds her group is helping small businesses cope and the financial relief package approved by President Trump and Congress should also make a big difference.

March 30th:

The numbers get bigger and scarier when it comes to the Carona Virus.  In Wisconsin,more than eleven hundred Carona cases have been confirmed..eighteen have proved fatal. Those numbers are expected to rise in the near future despite Governor Evers’ order shutting down non essential businesses. Oneida County..which saw its first case confirmed last week..now has three total. Marathon County reports a second case. Douglas County has six confirmed cases..Bayfield County has two.  A patient who tested positive was known to have visited two Ashland locations. I spoke to Bayfield County State Senator Janet Bewley who defends Governor Evers’ strict approach to fighting the virus even tho some republican critics says it’s too harsh.Bottom line..while Wisconsin has not been as hard hit as some other states…Michigan has seen more than a hundred thirty deaths,including a state legislator….the Badger State is still struggling to contain the virus.

March 27th:

The Carona Virus is bad and unfortunately getting worse. In Wisconsin,the number of confirmed cases is now up to more than seven hundred with twelve deaths.  Iron County’s first confirmed case of the illness was announced yesterday and it was fatal.  Vilas and Bayfield Counties have seen their second non fatal cases of Carona. The Vilas County patient is reported to be in isolation. The names and exact locations of the victims not being released. By the way, in Vilas County some people called 9-1-1 to get more information. Law enforcement does not want that. Confidentiality laws prevent the release of private information and 9-1-1 calls should only be made for emergencies. Upper Michigan is not immune from the threat. The virus has claimed an elderly man with other health issues in Gogebic County. The ongoing health crisis has impacted just about every aspect of life in Wisconsin,Michigan,Minnesota and the rest of the nation.  All non essential businesses are closed. Bars and restaurants can only stay open for deliveries and carry outs.All schoos are closed. Access to government buildings is restricted. Virtually all activities are postponed or cancelled. The DNR has even suspended burning permits until further notice.I spoke to Catherine Koele the DNR’s Wildfire Prevention Specialist,who says the move is aimed partly at protecting the health of agency personnel. It’s also approaching the time when forest land is vulnerable to fire.

 

March 26th:

Cases of the virus in Wisconsin have risen to five hundred eighty-five..with at least five deaths. Vilas County has reported its first case of the virus. Governor Evers’ stay-at-home order took effect yesterday morning at eight in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. All non essential businesses and activities are forced to close until April 24th. The ongoing threat has meant tough times for Chambers of Commerce and the businesses they serve. Mary Mc Phetridge of the Ashland Chamber says her group is working with the Economic Development Corporation to secure no interest loans for struggling businesses. There’s more good news..Congress has passed a more than two trillion dollar financial aid package. President Trump promises to sign it.

March 25th:

Beginning at eight this morning,Wisconsin is in partial shutdown. Governor Evers has issued a safer at home order because of the Corona Virus. It’s essentially a stay at home order. All non essential businesses and activities will have to close if they’re not already. That order will stay in effect until April 24th.

 

March 24th:

Non- essential businesses closed til further notice. Virtually all activities are either postponed or cancelled.  Under Evers’ order,doctors’ offices…hospitals…pharmacies…grocery stores ..convenience stores ..banks…credit unions and media outlets can remain open. So can bars and restaurants,but only for deliveries and carryouts.  Not everyone supports the Governors’ latest move. Some republican legislators think he’s gone too far. By the way in our listening area,organizers of the Madeline Island Marathon and Half Marathon have cancelled the May 16th events. The DNR is suspending in person County Deer Advisory Council meetings.

 

March 23rd Update:

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has decided to essentially shut down the Badger State. Evers is ordering all non essential businesses to close and all non essential activities to be put on hold. Wisconsin is the latest state to take drastic steps because confirmed cases of the virus keep rising…as do deaths. Under the Governor’s order,only groceries stores can remain open…along with bars and restaurants for carry outs….doctors’ offices…pharmacies….hospitals…and presumably banks. People can go outside…but groups of ten or more people are prohibited. Prior to Evers’ latest order,many Northern Wisconsin counties have issues non binding messages urging people who don’t live in the area not visit. Dick Pufal, .Ashland County Board Chair., ays he’s never seen anything like this. Ashland,Bayfield,and Sawyer Counties have all issued travel advisories. Again,Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has issued a stay-at-home order statewide that will close all non essential businesses for the foreseeable future.

~ Motorhead Madness has been cancelled due to health concerns.

~ Seven Winds Casino has postponed the scheduled MMA Event.

~ Heartland Communications has postponed it’s marketing seminar.

~ Heart Communications has postponed the annual Home and Sport Show.

~ Northland College has suspended all classes and students must leave campus by Friday (3/20/20).

~ The UW Extension has cancelled the Annual Farm and Garden Show.

~ The Bretting Community Center will be closed to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17 through April 5. If you have any questions, staff will be available at 715-682-7059.

~ The Vaughn Public Library will be closed as of Thursday, March 19. All meeting room and programming through the Library will be cancelled at this time. Staff will be available to answer any questions at 715-682-7060.

~ In Minnesota,all bars and restaurants will temporarily close until at least March 27th,though curbside,drive through and pick up will still be allowed.

~ The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board in Ashland has announced it’s temporarily closing  three job centers.

~ The Chequamegon Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its April 4th concert

~ Bad River Lodge and Casino has cancelled all Buffets until further notice.  Comedy Night has also been cancelled at Bad River.

~ Memorial Medical Center is implementing visitor restrictions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including Coronavirus (COVID-19). Only one well visitor per patient will be allowed entrance into the facility to help control the spread of illness. Any visitors with flu-like symptoms such as fever and new or worsening cough or shortness of breath will not be allowed entrance.

~ Zion Lutheran Church, Ashland, WI is currently closed March 17th  through a tentative date of April 1st.

~ The City of Ashland Public Works Department will close to the public on March 19, 2020, there will be someone available by phone 715.682.7061 during regular business hours M-F 7:00am-3:30pm.  Staff will continue normal functions on-site and available to address your concerns by telephone or e-mail exchange;  however, will not be available for face-to-face contacts.  Essential personal contacts will be by scheduled appointment only.  All deliveries can be left in the parcel drop box or the mail box, these will be checked on a regular basis during business hours. Operations at the Water and Waste Water utility will continue as normal, fully staffed with emergency call-out after hours.  The Waste Water Lab will not be accepting water samples until further notice.

~ Sevenwinds Casino has cancelled the Rhonda Vincent Concert scheduled for Thursday Night.

3/18/20 – Additions:

~ The Fundrasier Spaghetti Dinner Bohemian Hall, 319 11th Ave. E, Ashland WI Saturday March 21 – 5 to 8 p.m. has been postponed.

~Governor Evers also announced yesterday that all schools are closed indefinitely. They were to close by executive order on Thursday at the latest and re open by April 6th.

~The Bayfield Chamber and Visitors Bureau has updated its list of local businesses impacted by the Corona Virus: The Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center is closed. Cafe Coco closing on Thursday at five pm. The Apostle Islands Booksellers is closing its doors effective immediately.

~  In the interest of the public well being, the Bad River Lodge an Casino will close at 11:59PM tonight (Wednesday) for an expected two week period.

3/19/20 Update:

~ Ashland Mayor Debra Lewis has declared a state of emergency in the city to deal with the pandemic.  The emergency declaration stays in effect until March 31st ..It might be ending sooner if the Ashland council can convene.

~ Northlake Clinics in Ashland will soon be offering curbside testing for the virus.

~ Officials have announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Bayfield County.